What Is Variable Data Printing? And How Does It Work?

By: Dan Larkin
June 12, 2020

We've all received generic flyers or letters in the mail. Whether they're sent to your home or office, these general mailers are easy to spot and even easier to ignore. But variable data printing helps direct mail be more successful. 

Here's how.

What Is Variable Data Printing?

Variable data printing (VDP) allows companies to prepare and send out mailers that are specific to the recipient. VDP is used to customize direct mailing on a massive scale.

You're likely familiar with the concept of a mail merge - where names and addresses are added to a letter or envelope by using a spreadsheet of information. Similarly, technology to add a recipient's name in-text on a letter or postcard has been around for quite some time. Both of these methods are ways to customize promotional materials.

You can think of variable data printing as a supercharged form of this type of customization, where any and all information you have on potential or current customers can be used to create more targeted marketing. 

Sometimes, VDP is used interchangeably with other names, like VI (variable imaging) or VIP (variable information printing).

How Does VDP Work?

VDP gives mass distribution a one-on-one feel. By taking the customer and prospect data your business already has, VDP software can personalize direct mail materials. Here's a look at how VDP functions in the real world.

Personalize Auto Dealership Mailers

For instance, an auto dealership can use stored data to update the imagery used on a mailer: crossover SUVs for customers who fit the demographic information for SUV drivers, convertibles for customers who fit those demographics and 4x4 trucks for customers who fit those demographics. The use of more targeted imagery is more likely to get the recipient's attention. 

Market Personalized URLs 

And this technology does not stop at imagery - you can tie it into full-blown marketing campaigns. You can use VDP to add personalized URLs, which take the recipient to a personalized landing page where the content is specifically geared toward them. 

Why Should Businesses Know About VDP?

If your business invests in direct mail without using variable data printing, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. VDP has been proven, time and time again, to increase the rate of response to direct mail by as much as 300-600 percent. Simply put, when the information and images included on mailers are specific to the person receiving it, they are more likely to take notice and consider the material. 

If you have the consumer data, we have the software, hardware and support to allow VDP to optimize your direct mail campaigns. 

Contact a Marco rep now to learn more about VDP and other print software applications.

Talk to a Copier Printer Specialist Request an appointment

Topics: Copiers & Printers